The Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) has launched a consultation on regulating the quality of distribution services in Europe, with a focus on connection, disconnection and maintenance in electricity and gas distribution systems.
From a customer perspective, connections, disconnections and maintenance are very important processes, as in some cases, they imply the first customer interaction with the energy market. If they are well designed and function effectively, they will help to improve customers’ perception of the energy market. They are also important for a customer who wants to set up a micro-generation unit.
CEER identifies for input 22 core features in 11 service areas of distribution services which are highly important actions and may represent the first customer interaction with the energy market:
- New connection to the grid – Time taken to respond to customer request; Content of the response; Time taken to provide the price offer; Time taken to initiate the connection
- Connection of a new customer to the network – Time taken to provide the price offer; Time taken to connect
- Activation of energy supply – Time taken to activate energy supply
- Disconnection of energy supply, after customer request – Time taken to disconnect after customer request
- Warning mechanisms before disconnection due to non-payment – Time between last notice to pay and disconnection due to non-payment
- Reactivation of energy supply after disconnection due to non-payment – Time taken to reactivate energy supply after a disconnection due to non-payment (no new meter installed); Time taken to reactivate energy supply after a disconnection due to non-payment, when new meters are to be installed
- Planned energy interruptions – Time of notification of planned supply interruptions; Duration limit of a planned supply interruption
- Information during unplanned energy interruption – Time taken to provide customer information during and unplanned supply interruption
- Information on services and rights regarding connection and disconnection – User friendly information on connection and disconnection and customer´s rights related to those; Punctuality of appointments with customers; Easily accessible communication interface with customers
- Customer enquiries concerning connection and disconnection – Response time to customer enquiries concerning connection and disconnection
- Safety and emergency measures – Accessible information on correct installation handling including safety measures; Telephone number for electricity and gas emergencies; Where to find the telephone number for electricity and gas emergencies; Time taken to attend the site after a notice of a gas leak.
The consultation is intended as a first step towards a harmonized view on which distribution services within connection, disconnection and maintenance would benefit from being defined as well as monitored by national regulatory authorities in Europe.
The consultation closes January 31, 2014.